Muddy Ruffles

I love looking at the ocean

I love hearing the ocean

but I hate the sand

and I hate the salt.

I’m not supposed to,

of course.

Who in their right mind

hates being on the beach?

Salt on my fingers
annoys me, too.

I like french fries,

like eating them with my fingers.

I eat a couple

then wipe, wipe, wipe

my fingers

until all the tiny annoying


are gone.

When I was a little girl,

I refused to play in the mud.

Apparently all little girls

like to make mud pies.

All normal little girls, anyway.

I did not,

and that,

like a grain of sand

or salt


my mother.


one day when I was wearing my

favorite, frilliest panties,

she picked me up,

took me out the door, down the steps, out into the backyard

and plopped me on my ruffles

in the mud puddle.

She still laughs about it,

the mental image of me crying in the mud.

I’d forgotten all about it

until she remembered it to Alison a few weeks ago.

What’s funny to me is

how different

mothers and daughters

can be.


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